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Full text of "A search in secret Egypt"

X86               A SEARCH IN SECRET EGYPT
Socrates remarked that "those who axe acquainted with the Mysteries insure to themselves very pleasing hopes against the hour of death/* Among the ancients who have confessed or hinted that they had been initiated into the Mysteries, we may list the names of Aristides the orator, Menippus of Babylon, Sophocles the playwright, ^Eschylus the poet, Solon the law-giver, Cicero, Heraditus of Ephesus, Pindar and Pythagoras.
Even to-day, in the advanced degrees of the discipline of Ju-jitsu, in Japan, degrees which are known only to a rare few because they deal with secrets which are fit only,for a few, the pupil is taken through a course of the spiritual Mysteries. He is compelled to go through a ceremony of initiation which requires that he be strangled by a master. The actual deed of strangulation takes only a minute to perform; after which the candidate lies upon a couch, in effect dead. During this condition his spirit is freed from his body and receives an experience of other regions beyond our own. Then, when the allotted period of death is over, his master revives him by means of a mysterious practice whose untranslatable name is called "kwappo". He who emerges from this marvellous experience, henceforth become an initiate. Even to-day Freemasonry carries a remnant and relic of these institutions; in Egypt lies its root. Members of the Craft refer to Pythagoras as an example of ancient initiation; do they remember that he was initiated in Egypt? Those who framed the degrees of Masonry adopted some of the significant symbols of the Egyptian Mysteries.
That the inevitable degeneration of mankind brought about the disappearance or withdrawal of true hierophants, and their substitution by unillumined men, thus causing the degradation of the Mysteries into baneful caricatures of their former selves; that evil men who sought the powers of black magic ultimately conquered these institutions in Egypt and elsewhere; that what were originally sacred, exclusive and devoted to keeping alight a flame ot spiritual knowledge, pure institutions, became offensive and degraded instruments of corrupt powers; these things are historical and they led to the merited disappearance of antiquity's brightest jewels.
Yet if their secrets have perished with them, the wisdom which in their brighter days they bestowed upon men is evidenced by the illustrious list of names of men who sought